Debian, Sidux, Ubuntu, reference distributions for Rev

Peter Alcibiades palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Apr 18 12:08:28 EDT 2010


"Just yesterday my XP system got another update, and my OS X 10.4 system
got an update the week before."

Its not like that at all.  Debian Lenny is still getting updates, to both
apps and to security and to base system.  That is like what you are speaking
of with both XP and 10.4.  But that is not what is happening with Ubuntu. 
The passage from 8.04 to 8.04.4 is in some ways less than the changes that
take place within a Debian release, because most bugs are not (as the
articles I cited earlier documented) not fixed in them.  Similarly the
updates you get for XP and OSX are less than what you get from the Lenny
updates, because the latter give updates to applications, unlike the OSX and
XP ones.   But the passage from 8.04 to 9.04 is much more than an update, 
and far more than any update to Lenny or Squeeze, these are real new
releases, getting close to Tiger > Leopard > Snow Leopard.  But its every
six months!  

What Ubuntu does is completely different from what MS, Apple or Debian is
doing.  it remakes the whole distribution out of a pool of Debian
experimental packages every six months.  its like we were going major
releases every six months.  The passage from one Ubuntu release to another
is not an update of a base system.  

That is the whole point, and how it differs from Debian.  But its also how
it differs from XP and OSX.

Now, that may be a reasonable way to conduct business for Ubuntu.  its not
the way some of us would do it, but its their way.  What is indubitable is
that it means that while you have to test your releases against some
versions of Ubuntu, because there's a lot of it out there, Fedora too for
that matter, you cannot and should not take "Ubuntu", or even some specific
release of it, as your reference distribution to certify feature compliance
against.  

Because, unlike either XP, 10.4 or Debian Stable, it is not that sort of
thing.  Its not one thing, its lots of them, its a moving target, in a way
that none of the above is.   Pick one release, and it will not guarantee you
functionality against the next one.  Its a crap shoot.

Look, let Rev prove me wrong.  Carry on testing against Ubuntu, and start
delivering proper functionality and a well defined feature set that
performs.  I could be wrong, and this would be the way to prove it.

But until they do that, its just obstinate persistence in continuing to do
something that is not working, and that knowledgeable industry people argue
cannot possibly work.  Surely its obvious that the time has come with Rev on
Linux to look at what is going wrong, and for everyone to stop defending
ways of working that are not delivering?
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